Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

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    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Another reason for not going to Confession

    Who hasn't traveled around looking for a good place to go to Confession? I know I have.

    Perhaps this story exposes a real reason that Catholics have abandoned the Sacrament since Vatican II. There is no consistency. And if every Priest has varying moral advice, why not just depend on your own moral conscience and privately confess to God as one sees fit?

    The stock answer to the decline of Confession has always been that people no longer think they commit sins. That answer has always made sense, but this wavering of the Priests's morality makes much more sense to me.

    What a mess. As Father Neuhaus says, the problem in the Church is fidelity, fidelity, fidelity. And again, I agree.


    A yawning gulf between the stern doctrines preached by Pope Benedict and the advice offered by ordinary Roman Catholic priests has been exposed by an Italian magazine which dispatched reporters to 24 churches around Italy where, in the confessional, they sought rulings on various moral dilemmas.

    One reporter for L'espresso claimed to have let a doctor switch off the respirator that kept her father alive. "Don't think any more about it," she was told by a friar in Naples. "I myself, if I had a father, a wife or a child who had lived for years only because of artificial means, would pull out [the plug]."

    Another journalist posed as a researcher who had received a lucrative offer to work abroad on embryonic stem cells. With the extra cash, he said, he and his wife could think about starting a family. So should he take up the post?

    "Yes. Yes. Of course," came the reply.

    The church's official teaching is that homosexuality is "disordered" and that homosexual behaviour is wrong. Yet a practising gay man in Rome was told: "Generally, the best attitude is to be yourself - what in English is called 'coming out'."

    On one issue alone - abortion - the priests all stuck firmly to official doctrine. A reporter who said his wife had discovered their child would be born with Down's Syndrome, and that they were preparing to terminate her pregnancy, was told: "I swear to God: if you do it, you'll be a murderer."

    But on other issues, that "moral relativism" so detested by Pope Benedict was the order of the day.

    A journalist who said he was HIV-positive and used condoms to protect his partner was told it was "more of a personal problem, one of conscience".

    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    News of a lesser order

    Poor Mrs. Robinson. 1st things 1st. He has forgotten where AIDS comes from...

    The single most significant person who made the film happen, according to Karslake, is Robinson. Although theological disputes in the Episcopal Church go back decades, the consecration of Robinson in 2003 had triggered the departure of numerous congregations from the national Anglican body. The problem was not just homosexuality, many departed Anglican leaders have argued, but the continual drift in the church away from Scriptural authority.

    Robinson recently stated that he believes there are only a small minority of parishes at odds with the Episcopal Church's liberal stance on homosexuality. He further stated that the debate over the homosexual issue seems like a waste of their time and energy when the world faces larger problems such as the AIDS crisis.


    and comon', let the roosters fight. They will make tasty lunch soon anyway...

    The executive director of the Catholic Conference of New Mexico, Allen Sanchez, said this week of the bishops of that state are supporting a new law that would prohibit rooster fights because they foster violence and violate established principles regarding the treatment of animals.

    “Rooster fights abuse the goodness of the creation of God and do not constitute a cultural treasure,” the bishops of New Mexico said in a statement.



    God's creation is a violent thing. Going down with a fight or a butcher knife, it's still tasty.

    Is God really against violence? I don't think so.

    If I may say so, He has always has a strong masculine side which only lately has been ignored in favor of Political Correctness. God does not seem wimpy or limp. Life is an adventure, not a hug.

    Bring on the roosters and the bulls. Remember St. Michael the fighter.

    That Minimum Wage thing

    In the end I would have to go with Edward's statement that it's "right". After all the economic arguments, it still seems like the right thing to put a bottom at which Americans should be paid to work.

    I hope that does not make me a Democrat.


    Dear Friend,

    As I've traveled the country, I've talked to thousands of people who work one or more jobs and still struggle to keep food on their tables and make ends meet. Righting this inexcusable wrong is a core goal of our work together.

    In less than 72 hours, the Senate will likely vote on a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. It's a long overdue change that will immediately help over 13 million people, many living at or below the edge of poverty. But it will only happen if you speak up.

    Last week, the Senate Republicans filibustered a clean version of the proposal, and now they're trying to force Democrats to either pass billions of dollars more in corporate tax breaks or give up raising the minimum wage.

    The only way to beat the special interests is to prove to every Senator that the American people are watching. It's time to tell the Senate that American workers deserve a raise - no strings attached:

    Last year I worked with many of you and with our partners to help pass ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage in six states - so I know first hand how much support this has among working Americans. And I also know it's the right thing to do.

    There's no doubt the minimum wage is too low: a full-time minimum wage worker brings in just $10,712 a year, less than half of the poverty level for a family of four.

    There's no doubt it's been too long: in the ten years since the minimum wage was raised -- the longest delay in history -- the cost of living has gone up 25%.

    And there's no doubt a higher minimum wage is good for the economy: studies show that cities and counties with higher minimum wages maintain or even increase employment levels.

    The only doubt is whether the corporate lobbyists and their Republican allies will be able to dilute and delay the proposal at the expense of American workers.

    If we raise our voice now, you and I can help make sure that doesn't happen.

    Creating the working society we believe in -- where every full-time job provides the dignity of a decent income and a springboard to future opportunity -- will require bold fixes for the ways our system treats workers. These include shifting the tax burden off the backs of wage earners, providing full child care benefits for working families, defending the basic rights of workers to organize -- and raising the minimum wage.

    It can happen, but only if we seize the big moments and speak out for what is right.

    Sincerely, John Edwards


    I need something explained to me.

    When Jesus was explaining to Peter that divorce was no longer OK, Jesus also added something like "Let those accept it who can.".

    I don't suppose that has anything to do with the Pope's remark that:

    Pope Benedict cautioned the ecclesiastical judges against a notion that has arisen since Vatican II: the idea that an indissoluble marriage is an idea that not all Christians can be expected to reach.

    Sounds like it to me, but I must be wrong.


    Speaking to the judges and officials of the Roman Rota-- the tribunal that handles appeals of decisions by local marriage tribunals-- the Holy Father insists that Church tribunals must uphold the truth about Christian marriage, and particularly its permanence.

    When marriage is seen only as the union of affections, the Pope explained, “marriage not only becomes contingent-- as human affections can be contingent-- but appears as a superimposed legal structure which human will can manipulate at will, even denying its heterosexual character."

    Pope Benedict cautioned the ecclesiastical judges against a notion that has arisen since Vatican II: the idea that an indissoluble marriage is an idea that not all Christians can be expected to reach. That attitude, he pointed out, runs directly counter to the Scriptural injunction: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    The government goes its own way

    After the same story was played out in Boston, and other U.S. cities, this is not new news.

    Popular culture which supports the governments is not agreeing with Catholic morality. In drawing the line the contrast is clearer. So be it.


    The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy O’Connor, spiritual head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has said that seven Catholic adoption agencies which handle some of the most vulnerable cases may be closed if they are not given an exemption under new equalities legislation – which seeks to give equal access and fair treatment to lesbian and gay people in the provision of goods and services.

    Dear Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet,

    It has always been the wish of the Catholic Church in this country to work with the government for the common good of its people. We believe we do this in matters of social care, education and in many other ways. Catholic teaching urges us to do this, and we do it gladly in a spirit of cooperation.

    We would, however, have a serious difficulty with the proposed regulations on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services if they required our adoption agencies to consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents.

    Our agencies have an excellent track record, which is well documented by the Commission for Social Care in their Regulatory Inspection Programme. It would be an unnecessary tragedy if legislation forced the closure of these adoption services, thereby significantly reducing the potential resources of adoptive families for the approximately 4,000 children currently waiting for adoption placements.

    This outcome is wholly avoidable. We urge you to ensure that the regulations shortly to be laid before Parliament enable our agencies to continue their work with local authorities for the common good. There is nothing to lose, and children waiting for an adoptive family have much to gain, by our continuing successful collaboration.

    In the U.K. of abortion and euthanasia, this is just another trophey against the dignity of God's children.

    The homosexual agenda in no way wants this to be avoidable. Their aim is to make the once unbelievable the now unremarkable. For Catholics it will remain a remarkable shame.

    As I heard on the radio yesterday, the 'love' that was recently unmentionable, now can not seem to shut up.

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    New Priests.. 1 out of 14,730

    According to the Official Catholic Directory’s 2006 statistics, the Diocese of Savannah ordained five men in 2005, putting it at second in the Top 10 list of dioceses with the most ordinands per Catholics. With a total Catholic population of 73,649, that makes the ratio one ordinand per 14,730 Catholics.


    “The south is very religious,” said Father Tim McKeown, vocation director for the Diocese of Savannah, Ga. “We’re about 3 percent to 4 percent Catholic, but there is a strong Christian ethos. I think that certainly helps.”

    The Diocese of Memphis has quadrupled its number of seminarians in the past five years. Father Keith Stewart, vocation director, cited personal contact as the key.

    “I’ve really worked with our priests to get them to extend a personal invitation to men,” said Father Stewart, who has been at his post for five years. “It’s been one of my biggest priorities because I’ve seen it borne out in experience that the personal invitation is what gets the ball rolling.”

    According to Father Stewart, those interested in pursuing a priestly vocation come to him only after having initial contact with a priest.

    “The priests are the real recruiters,” said Father Stewart. “Ninety percent of them come to me only after someone else got the ball rolling. I’ve only had one or two who have come to me on their own.”

    “It is a building block for vocations,” Father Donohue was quoted as saying in the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors’ newsletter. “I have discovered that more than a few vocations have come from men with a devotion to the blessed sacrament, who found their calling by spending time with Christ in adoration or prayer before the tabernacle.”

    Seminarian John Johnson, who is a transitional deacon studying at Mount St. Mary’s for ordination to the Diocese of Savannah, has observed the same trend. He said that the priesthood is attracting younger men.

    “We have 150 to 160 guys here,” said Johnson. “All of them, with the exception of one or two, are about my age. There’s a fresh, vital spirit among the young guys. They are ready to go out, be good priests, remain faithful to their state in life, and do their best to serve and defend the church.”

    Another example can be found in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. There, 142 young men from across the United States are studying at St. John Vianney Minor Seminary. The Diocese of Duluth, which is on the National Catholic Register’s Top 10 list, has 16 seminarians studying at St. John Vianney. In 2005, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis ordained 15 men to the priesthood. The archdiocese currently has 34 of its own young men studying at the seminary.

    In an age where the church has been marred by the past scandals of some of her priests, one would think that that would impact the numbers of men desiring to be priests, but Deacon Johnson said that isn’t the case.

    “We all have a sense that we are in the wake of the scandals and we’re learning about the modern situation, but it doesn’t faze us,” he said. “I felt that after the scandals there would be a sharp drop-off in the numbers of young seminarians, but it hasn’t been that way at all.”

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Men, who needs them?

    Imagine for a moment that these pictures depicted a man doing the same thing to a woman.

    Imagine that these are for sale at the Wal Mart in Omak WA (and most others I'm sure).

    Imagine trying to explain the Catholic idea of complimentary sexuality to the girls who are buying these, or whose parents are buying these for them.

    Imagine boys wanting to marry girls brought up with these attitudes.

    I can't imagine any of it.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Organs for sale.. Why should this surprise us?

    In England, infantcide is legal, but the sale of one's organs for transplant is not.


    The guy from the transplant society says that it is "abhorrent"... why?

    It may feel abhorrent today, but give it time. When you don't feel abhorrent about killing the young and old, all things become possible. These feelings will pass.

    And notice what the good doctor says.. it's illegal ALTHOUGH there is a shortage.. ah ha.. something to ponder. And what else? It could be dangerous to the donor. Well, there you have it. Make it less dangerous and make it legal, and you're on your way.

    I'm sure someone is working on these temporary problems as we speak.


    Mr Rigg, a consultant transplant surgeon at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "I know there are people advertising their organs for sale online, but in this country it is illegal."

    He also warned of the potential dangers involved for donors.

    He also warned that other complications could occur after donations keeping people in hospital for longer, and that this occurred in about 20-25 % of cases of liver donations.

    He said: "We would not support anyone doing this although we do recognise that there is a shortage of organs [in the UK]."

    He said the trade could be fuelled by the large number of people waiting for organ donations in the UK.

    The British Transplantation Society said it considered donation of organs for any kind of personal gain to be unethical.

    Mr John Forsythe, BTS president, said: "We would completely condemn the sale of organs."

    He said in all cases of live donation, they would try to ensure no coercion was involved at all, and that the selling of organs, often by people in desperate need of money would be "abhorrent" to many people.

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    Minimum wage

    The minimum wage has a lot of problems. Our economic system works best without it.

    As I understand it, most people do not stay at the minimum wage for long... they soon get a raise or it becomes the incentive to move on to a new job, perhaps by getting the training they need to compete better in the job marketplace.

    The Catholic complaint against too low a wage is exactly for those people that the Bishops are talking about. Those who for many reasons are only suited for the lowest pay work over their working life.

    I would like to see actual figures on how many folks this applies to. I am pretty sure they find themselves in this situation because of aptitude or age.

    And on a human level it is a shame that our labor economy discounts people with low apptitude or older workers. Some program should protect them from a life of poverty. The program can not be labor market driven, but most probably must come from the government.

    The program today is the minimum wage, as faulty as that performs. And raising the minimum wage seems to be the only way to reach these folks who want the dignity of work and should be protected from poverty.

    The minimum wage hurts the raw economic balance, and protects many workers who don't need protecting like young students and extra-income workers.

    What we need is a new idea to safeguard the sincere mimimum wage earner. I don't know what that is. So for the time being, for their sakes, an increased wage is the only tool out there.

    Politicians will vote for it only so they can claim they are 'for the worker' and of course get reelected.

    The Bishops are really only reminding us that the Capitalist system has flaws if it is expected to support worker's dignity. It doesn't. Society's management of the harsher elements of the system is necessary. The minimum wage will have to remain until a better idea dawns on us.


    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has long sought a raise in the minimum wage. As pastors, bishops see the tragic human and social consequences on individuals, their families, and society when workers cannot support themselves and their families by their own labor. The current minimum wage is still just $5.15 an hour, which is $10,700 a year for a full-time worker -- nearly $6,000 below the poverty level for a family of three. The minimum wage needs to be raised not just for the goods and services a person can buy but for the self-esteem and self-worth it affords. We urge you to support H.R. 2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007.
    Work has a special place in Catholic social thought.

    Work is more than just a job; it is a reflection of human dignity and a way to contribute to the common good. Most importantly, it is the ordinary way people meet their material needs and community obligations. In Catholic teaching, the principle of a just wage is integral to our understanding of human work. Wages must be adequate for workers to provide for themselves and their families in dignity. The United States bishops' Conference has supported the minimum wage since its inception as a just means to protect the human rights and dignity of workers.

    Raising the minimum wage is only one step needed to address the larger, more pressing problem of poverty in America. In our shelters and soup kitchens, in our parishes and schools, we see working families who can't make ends meet. We serve too many families where men and women work full time and still live in destitution. Congress needs to make budget and policy choices that will ensure adequate funding to help families escape joblessness, move beyond welfare, choose decent education for their children, gain needed health care coverage, and overcome hunger and homelessness. Our nation needs a persistent and determined effort to overcome poverty. We hope you will work together across partisan and ideological lines to shape a comprehensive strategy and common commitment to lift all of our brothers and sisters out of poverty.

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    Isalm.. so close

    What is it that sends islam off course? What seed grows the violence and otherness?

    Well, obviously it has something to do with not understanding Christ. And something to do with rewriting the Old and New Testaments to the whisperings of whomever that spirit was.

    It probably has most to do with the imperative to submit, and the punishment for not doing so.

    This article goes along nicely sans-Christ until the last paragraph (isn't that the usual technique?).


    Here's the non-Christ thing...

    Neither can the Creator be ontologically transformed so as to become the creature, nor can the creature transcend and transfigure itself so as to become in any way or sense the Creator.

    No Jesus, no adopted sons of God. OK.. non-Christian.

    Judgment, or the consummation of responsibility, is the necessary condition of moral obligation, of moral imperativeness. It flows from the very nature of "normativeness.” It is immaterial whether reckoning takes place in space-time or at the end of it or both, but it must take place. To obey God, that is, to realize His commandments and actualize His pattern, is to achieve falah or success, happiness, and ease. Not to do so, to disobey Him, is to incur punishment, suffering, unhappiness, and the agonies of failure.

    Here I suspect the article is alluding to muslim government being OK with meting out God's will.

    In America we have legal prosecutors that attempt to perform human justice flawed as it is, in an attempt to keep society from erupting into more chaos.

    But add a religious element, where the prosecutors think they have the special knowledge of God's intention in the matter, and it would be a scary thing indeed. This is in fact the scary thing about politicians saying in close statements "God bless America, now let's go to war". We have to stick to the human understanding of Justice, and not adventure into thinking we know God's idea of Justice.

    Vengenge is mine says the Lord. Yes, yes, yes.

    Anyone who trys to enforce God's Justice, without clearly understanding that they are only enforcing human's faulty idea of justice, is making a mistake. I think American lawmakers generally understand this.

    I don't think that understanding is shared by our muslim companions on the journey.

    Health and God

    Today Central and South America are heavily Christian. Special and at times very folksy children of God.

    Yet just look at how disease was their companion 1,500 years after Jesus's walk on earth.

    What was in God's mind? I think simply death is inevitable, even by terrible methods.

    And where is our thinking today? It is that death is somehow guaranteed to be held at bay at least until the 80's. Amazing and silly.

    It can not be more clear the meaning of the simple saying that it doesn't matter when you die, but how you live. This applies to the simple frozen embryo or the 30 year old martyr. It just doesn't matter.

    I think we really have to watch our thinking about the injustice of a young death. Everything leads to the glory of God no matter how severely our modern thinking needs to be changed to see God's obvious will.

    It's our ego, natural survival instinct, and pride that makes us think otherwise.


    Mexicans have long been taught to blame diseases brought by the Spaniards for wiping out most of their Indian ancestors. But recent research suggests things may not be that simple.

    While the initial big die-offs are still blamed on the Conquistadors who started arriving in 1519, even more virulent epidemics in 1545 and 1576 may have been caused by a native blood-hemorrhaging fever spread by rats, Mexican researchers say.

    The idea has sparked heated debate in Mexican academic circles.

    "Blood flowed from the ears and in many cases blood truly gushed from the nose," he wrote. "Of those with recurring disease, almost none was saved."

    While there is no reliable figure on Mexico's population in the 1500s — estimates range from 6 million to 25 million — it is clear that by 1600 only around 2 million remained.

    The epidemic "was so big that it ruined and destroyed almost the entire land," wrote Fray Juan de Torquemada, a Franciscan historian who witnessed the epidemic of 1576, adding Mexico "was left almost empty."

    "Many were dead and others almost dead, and nobody had the health or strength to help the diseased or bury the dead."

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Fantasy is the new normal

    If you can dream it, you can do it!

    It seems, in our minds at least, that the physical world no longer binds us. Computers and television and medical wonders not only amuse us with fantasy, they help sweep us away into never never land.

    And judges, being modern people also, are similarly dreaming along.

    Natural Law folks. Without it anything is possible. Even the impossible. At least in our minds.

    This child does not have 2 mothers, and never will. Yet we can make out papers saying he does, and play house as if he does. It's not nice to fool Mother Nature. She has a way of spanking the fantasy right out from under you.


    A five-year-old Canadian boy can have two mothers and a father, an Ontario court ruled this week in a landmark case that redefines the meaning of family and examines the rights of parents in same-sex relationships.

    "It is contrary to (the child's) best interests that he is deprived of the legal recognition of the parentage of one of his mothers," Justice Marc Rosenberg wrote in the ruling, which did not name the three parents or the child.

    "Perhaps one of the greatest fears faced by lesbian mothers is the death of the birth mother... Without a declaration of parentage or some other order, the surviving partner would be unable to make decisions for their minor child."

    See the little fantasy sneaking in? "deprived of the legal recognition of the parentage of one of his mothers," ... "fears faced by lesbian mothers". The whole proceeding moves on as if there can be more than one mother, and refers to something called lesbian mothers. Something impossible has become legal babble. The fantasy builds a reality of its own. The only reality this group is the innocent child, father and mother. Somehow another woman has appeared because all chanted in one voice "make it so".

    Remember that come-back line when a lady is asked for a date, and her response is 'dream on'? It looks like in modern times, the next step is not rejection but rather turning on some type of video virtual reality, or having it declared so in court.

    I wonder if at the Last Judgement our entry in the book will refer to our fantasy life, or our real life.

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    If we could only be honest

    Sort of like.. let your yes be yes, and your no be no..

    And remembering just who is the author of all lies.

    I like this column.. it sounds honest, not nice.

    I like nice cookies and nice cars, not nice people.


    Joel Stein:
    Have something to say? I don't care
    Don't bother sending anything to that e-mail address below -- because I don't care.
    January 2, 2007

    DON'T E-MAIL me.

    That address on the bottom of this column? That is the pathetic, confused death knell of the once-proud newspaper industry, and I want nothing to do with it. Sending an e-mail to that address is about as useful as sending your study group report about Iraq to the president.

    Here's what my Internet-fearing editors have failed to understand: I don't want to talk to you; I want to talk at you. A column is not my attempt to engage in a conversation with you. I have more than enough people to converse with. And I don't listen to them either. That sound on the phone, Mom, is me typing.

    Not everything should be interactive. A piece of work that stands on its own, without explanation or defense, takes on its own power. If Martin Luther put his 95 Theses on the wall and then all the townsfolk sent him their comments, and he had to write back to all of them and clarify what he meant, some of the theses would have gotten all watered down and there never would have been a Diet of Worms. And then, for the rest of history, elementary school students learning about the Reformation would have nothing to make fun of. You can see how dangerous this all is.

    I get that you have opinions you want to share. That's great. You're the Person of the Year. I just don't have any interest in them. First of all, I did a tiny bit of research for my column, so I'm already familiar with your brilliant argument. Second, I've already written my column, so I can't even steal your ideas and get paid for them.

    Part of the problem is that no etiquette has yet been established for the hyper-interactive world. And I, born before MySpace and e-mail, don't feel comfortable getting a letter and not answering it. And then, if I do, suddenly, we're pen pals, with all those pen pal responsibilities.

    And I don't want a pen pal who already has strong opinions about me. What fun is that? I want a pen pal named Simone who lives in Grenoble and is trying to learn English while I learn French, and teases me with vague promises to come visit over summer break even though she never does.

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Wellness.. one thing leads to the other :)

    I will bet you $1 you think wellness is a good thing. I disagree.

    The healthcare industries have morphed into not only caring for the sick.. but keeping you from getting sick in the first place. Now admit it... this is something even Jesus didn't think of doing.

    And at what cost to human dignity? Plenty.

    Now I am an old man, that remembers what it felt like to live with the assumption one could die any day, at any time. I mean really felt that in the gut.. not just some ignored mathematical probability. Now I'm talking a LONG ways back.. before air conditioning and the polio vaccine.

    I propose without proof that people lived better lives, because that life was not assured to 80.

    Anyway, without digging too deeply, I am thinking that prenatal testing to weed out ill fetuses, government sanctions against unhealthy activity (does smoking and transfats come to mind?) and presure for practical euthanasia will be coming on a lot stronger as we are introduced to the Democrat's new ideas regarding universal health insurance. I have already seen mention that the way to keep health costs down is to make sure no one risks getting sick in the first place. Or if the individual does hold on to an 'unhealthy' life style there will be punishment penalties. Heck, there will be penalties if an insured does not go in for regular checkups as recommended by your friendly government.

    Fun isn't it? To be socialized into healthy living by government? Forget about being given a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt.. that is so yesterday. And what about the old admonishment that life is dangerous? No matter, we have fixed all that with seat belts, helmets, anti-smoker laws, and lawyers.

    I would like a doctor to see me when I am sick. I would like some medicine to cure me, or ease the discomfort. I do not buy in to living heathy to secure a nice long life right up to dementia. HELP.. let me out of this thing. I think that's my outlook.

    Now what about homosexuality? Is that a sickness? The Catholic Church says no. I agree.

    But what about the touchstone of a parent's natural longing for a healthy child. That natural longing that has recently resulted in so few Down's babies being born (gee, I wonder where they all went?), fewer girls in India and China, and now just perhaps, fewer homosexuals.

    If it is not happening yet, it will. And the list of defined diseases we can hide from will be endlessly long. And the proscriptions to healthy living will be endless also.

    God help us.


    SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.
    The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.

    It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the “straightening” procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.

    Martina Navratilova, the lesbian tennis player who won Wimbledon nine times, and scientists and gay rights campaigners in Britain have called for the project to be abandoned.

    Navratilova defended the “right” of sheep to be gay. She said: “How can it be that in the year 2006 a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments?” She said gay men and lesbians would be “deeply offended” by the social implications of the tests.

    To me there is something more tragic about old people being asked to die because they cost too much to maintain, and Down's babies being killed because they don't fit society's idea of a pleasant baby.

    Although in Martina's case, it's salience that trumps empathy with the weak and vulnerable.

    Nancy is plain

    Let's give credit where credit is due.

    It is refreshing to see someone tell it like it is.

    This is where a lot of Catholics find themselves.

    They may still go to church, or then again they may not.

    They know that there's a controversy regarding abortion, but are unaware of the specifics.

    They have even heard that they're not supposed to use birth control, but think it may be one of those out-dated ideas, like Confession.

    And here, thanks to Nancy Pelosi's sharp insight, is the crux of the matter... "To me it isn’t even a question.". If you think it's OK, it's OK. If you think it is not OK, it's not OK. I'm OK, you're OK. OK OK.

    It simply does not matter. Unless you are an activist or a fanatic.

    I am more and more thinking that "women's rights" are just a sloppy phrase that means it simply does not matter. And because it doesn't matter, leave it alone.

    If I am right, that pro-choice catholics like Pelosi really mean that abortion doesn't matter, when instead they automaticlly say "a woman's right", then things get easier to understand.

    No amount of Church teaching has an effect because the Church is talking about something that does not matter. To folks like Pelosi, only fanatics would make such a big deal about abortion.

    What else can we deduce? That the Church itself does not matter. It's somewhere to go on Sunday maybe. It's something to mention as a part of one's 'background'.

    Now the Church is a very big thing with a lot of volume. Its members under this big roof are at all different places on the journey. Some people are Saints, and most are not.

    Of course we will find people there like Pelosi. Let's not be surprised, and let's not think it a scandal. In some ways it is like the crowds that followed Jesus. Some were bound to walk away, and some stayed a little longer to hear Him more, and some became his followers.

    The controversy is very good. It makes catholics like Pelosi admit that abortion really doesn't matter. And when we know this, we know what we are dealing with, and a little about where they stand on their journey in the crowd.

    So what should we do about their standing under the Church's roof. I think wise teachers might say to let them continue to stand there where they can hear the Word of God and change their minds about what really does matter.


    NEWSWEEK spoke to Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become Speaker of the House if the Dems win, and Steny Hoyer, who is in line to become majority leader, to get some answers. Excerpts:


    Clift: I think the issues that brought you into politics were the environment and also choice. [You had] five children in six years, a Catholic background…Was embracing choice an issue with your family?

    Pelosi: To me it isn’t even a question. God has given us a free will.

    We’re all responsible for our actions. If you don’t want an abortion, you don’t believe in it, [then] don’t have one.

    But don’t tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities.

    My family is very pro-life. They’re not fanatics and they’re not activists. I think they’d like it if I were not so vocally pro-choice.

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Eid al-Adha, PETA would not be amused

    Hundreds of Turks spent the first day of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha holiday in emergency wards on Sunday, after stabbing themselves or suffering other injuries while sacrificing startled and agitated sheep and other animals.


    Muslims sacrifice cows, sheep, goats and bulls during the four-day religious holiday, a ritual commemorating the biblical account of God's provision of a ram for Abraham to sacrifice as he was about to slay his son. They share the meat with friends, family and neighbors and give part of it to the poor.

    Four people were severely injured when they were crushed under the weight of large animals that fell on top of them, the agency reported. Another person was hurt when a crane, used to lift an animal, tumbled onto him, the agency said.

    Funny, I am not aware of any complaints from PETA about the practice.

    These kooky folks save their adolescent angst for the local crowd whom they
    would dearly love to pacify.


    • As evidenced by the following tragedies, animals used in Nativity scenes are magnets for abuse:
      In West Virginia, a man was charged with raping a sheep at a Nativity scene.

    • A donkey named Brighty, who was used in a church Nativity scene in Harrisonburg, Virginia, was savagely beaten by three young men. Following the attack, Brighty was fearful of people and refused to socialize with other donkeys.

    • In Richmond, Virginia, dogs attacked the animals used in a church’s Nativity scene, mauling two sheep and causing a donkey to bolt into traffic, where he was hit by a car.

    • A camel named Ernie, who was part of a Nativity scene in Maryland, was killed by a car.

    • A sheep used in a Bedford, New Hampshire, Nativity scene was stolen and slaughtered.

    • More than 20 animals used by a Virginia business that “rents” animals for use in seasonal displays died when the barn where they were housed burned to the ground.

    • In Havana, Illinois, a camel used in Nativity scenes was injured when he jumped out of a horse trailer that was being towed at a speed of at least 55 mph.

    There are far more entertaining, humane, and cost-effective alternatives to the use of animals in Nativity scenes. Statues or models of animals can be used instead. Some churches encourage children to dress up as animals and participate in the living Nativity with adults. In such cases, the story of the birth of Christ can even be told from the animals’ perspective. This way, the funds wasted by churches to lease animals for Nativity scenes could be better spent on food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, or toys for needy children.

    Ha, they prefer "children to dress up as animals" so the Nativity story can
    be told "from the animals’ perspective". How cute. I'm pretty sure the
    PETA folks think animals can talk, and if not... just use kids.

    OK, enough fun. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    catholic interest.